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Mass. Teen Sentenced to Jail for Fatal Distracted Driving Crash

Aaron Deveau of Haverhill, Massachusetts was recently sentenced to 2 ½ years in jail for causing an accident that killed one person and injured another. He will have to serve 1 year of that sentence behind bars.

Tragically, 55-year-old Donald Bowley died as the result of injuries he sustained in that February 2011 crash. His girlfriend Luz Roman was also injured, but she did make a full recovery.

Deveau, who was only 17 at the time of the accident, was convicted of vehicular homicide and negligent operation while texting. The latter charge is the result of a September 2010 Massachusetts law that made it a criminal act to cause bodily injury due to negligent driving from texting.

The collision occurred when Deveau crossed the center line on Haverhill Street. He crashed head on into Bowley’s vehicle. Although records showed that Deveau had been sending and receiving text messages immediately before and after the collision, he claims he was not texting at the time the crash occurred.

According to Deveau, a car in front of him slammed on the brakes, so he swerved so as not to rear-end the vehicle ahead of him. He said that he was not texting during the collision, and that his cell phone was sitting on the passenger seat. However, the jury determined that he had been texting when the collision occurred. Cell phone records showed that Deveau had sent nearly 200 texts that day.

This is a very tragic story for the family and friends of Mr. Bowley. It must be difficult on Mr. Deveau and his family as well. Distracted driving is a serious problem, as this case shows. Hopefully this terrible situation will raise awareness of the problem, and young people will be less likely to engage in the dangerous practice of texting and driving if they face criminal penalties for doing so.

Ty Wilson is a distracted driving lawyer in Lawrenceville, GA, who educates the injured and family of the injured about their Georgia injury claims and Georgia automobile insurance. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to read articles, watch videos, and to order Ty’s FREE books BEFORE hiring an attorney, speaking to the insurance adjuster or signing any papers.

If you need to speak with a lawyer today, give Ty a call at 1-888-689-5224.

Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.

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